Preschool Fruits of the Spirit Lesson 1

When We Stay Connected to Jesus, We Learn What it Means to Love Others

Concepts Children Learn:
A branch cannot produce any fruit unless its connected to the vine.
Jesus is like the vine, we are like the branches. We can't produce fruit unless we're connected to Jesus.
Love is the most important fruit we produce when we are connected to Jesus!

Prep: Have your Bible marked with the following verses: John 15:4-5; Luke 6:31. Make up a sample of the Fruity Bear craft. See Craft page for patterns and directions, You will be using him for the Circle Talk Time. Print off the story pages wither in color or black & white. Story pictures in color: vine 2 , accessories 3, and this b&w page: grapes on vine 4, grape 5. You can also use the b&w pictures instead, and color them yourself or just leave them b&w. vine 2, accessories 3, grapes on vine 4, grape 5. Directions: Cut out accessories from accessory page. Apply restickable gluestick glue to the backs. Cover Vine picture with clear contact paper. Follow directions in lesson. You will need some scissors on hand to do the lesson. (Keep out of reach of children or use child safety scissors).

Circle Talk Time Skit: Have an assistant read the part of Fruity Bear or use a little-kid voice. See craft page for supplies and directions.

The numbers in parentheses tell you what Story Page to hold up while you are telling the story. (You don't need to read the words on the actual story pages. They are for use as posters or coloring pages). Only read words that are not in parentheses for the lesson. The words in parentheses tell you what actions you do.

LESSON:

Bible Memory Verse: John 15:4-5. Other verses used as reference: Galatians 5:22-23.

Today we will begin learning about the Fruits of the Spirit. Does anyone know how fruit grows? (Give children a chance to answer). Yes, it grows on a tree, or if its a grape, it grows on a vine. It gets its food and water from the tree or from the vine so it can grow. (branch from 3) Let's take a look at this weak, little branch. Its not producing any fruit. It looks kind of sickly doesn't it? I wonder why its not producing any fruit? Well, let's see...hm-m. Its all by itself. It was broken off of its vine. Of course it couldn't produce any fruit when its not connected to its vine. That's really sad! What can we do?

Well, a gardener would know what to do. He knows that the weak, little branch needs to be connected to the vine to produce fruit. So the gardener takes it and cuts off the yucky parts. That's called pruning. This is how he does it. (Cut the leaves and twigs off of the branch).

(vine 2) Then the gardener ties the weak, little branch to the vine, so it can get food and water from the vine. (Place the branch on the vine page where there is no branch, making sure it is touching the vine part way). (Point to the yarn). The gardener ties it real close to the strong vine. Now it will get stronger from being connected to the strong vine! Now it can really grow and produce a lot of fruit! (Add the little bunches of grapes to the branch, from page 3) Look how much fruit is growing on that weak little branch now! It couldn't do anything on its own. It was too weak on its own. But, now it will be strong and happy. And the really great thing is...it doesn't just produce a little fruit. (Shake head "no"). It produces a whole lot of fruit! It produces more and more fruit the longer it stays connected to the strong vine! (Add the larger bunches of grapes from page 3, overlapping them). Look at all those grapes! Aren't they beautiful!

So, what does all of this mean? Well, in our Bibles, there's some verses that explain to us how Jesus is like the vine and we are like the branches. Its in John 15:4-5 (Read John 15:4-5) Jesus was saying that we are weak on our own. We are like that weak little branch that didn't have any fruit. Jesus is like the strong vine. (4) We need to stay connected to him if we want to produce fruit. He is able to produce lots and lots of fruit in us, the longer we stay connected to him.

But, what kind of fruit was Jesus talking about? I don't really want oranges popping out of my ears. Do you want grapes growing at the end of your toes? That would be silly, wouldn't it? No, there's another verse that tells us what kind of fruit Jesus is talking about. The fruits of the Spirit are all the good things that God's Spirit produces in us when we follow Jesus. Just like fruit grows on a tree or vine, God's Spirit causes good things to grow in us -- things like love, joy and peace.

(6) Did you know what the most important fruit of the Spirit is? (Give children a chance to answer). That's right! - Love! God's Spirit produces lots of love in our hearts when we stay close to Jesus! See all the grapes in this picture? That's a lot of grapes, isn't it? That's how much love God's Spirit can produce in us - and even more!

But, if you try to love people on your own, its not going to work very well. We are really not very good at loving others just on their own. (Shake head "no"). We all want to be loving and kind, but sometimes we have a hard time being that way. But, if we stay connected to Jesus, then we learn from him what it means to really love others, and then he helps us love others even when its hard! He produces the fruit of love through us, as we stay connected to him! Isn't that wonderful!? Hey! Look who's here! (Pull Fruity Bear out, with fruit stuck all over him). Its Fruity Bear! (Then continue with Circle Time Skit below).

CIRCLE TIME SKIT: (What does this mean for me?)

Fruity Bear: Fruity Bear: Hi everybody!
Teacher: Hi Fruity Bear! What's that all over you?
Fruity Bear: Fruit! Yummy, good fruit! I just thought I would show the kids what it looks like when God's Spirit produces fruit in us! See?
Teacher: (Giggle) Silly bear... Well, the Holy Spirit does produce fruit in us, but that's not the kind of fruit the he produces.
Fruity Bear: I-i-its not?
Teacher: No, silly bear. The kind of fruit that the Holy Spirit produces in us is things like love and joy and peace. But you do look cute, wearing all those pretty, colorful fruits!
Fruity Bear: Oh, that's what you meant when you said fruit? I understand now. Now I feel silly.
Teacher: Here...let's take those off of you. (Remove the fruit stickers) Maybe you could just hold this one (Stick the grape in his paw, and the word Love in his other paw).
Fruity Bear: Why am I holding the grape and the word Love?
Teacher: Well, I thought you might like to help me talk about Love.
Fruity Bear: Oh, o.k. Are we going to talk about love because its the most important fruit?
Teacher: Yes, Fruity Bear! Let me tell you a short verse about love: (Read Luke 6:31). Do you know what that means?
Fruity Bear: Um-m-m-m...well... does it mean that we should think about how we would like to be treated, and then treat other people that way?
Teacher: Yes! Very good. I'll ask some questions, and you and the kids can try to answer. Let's think about this: If it was your very first time in this Sunday school class, how would you like other people to treat you? (Give the children a chance to answer). I like all of your answers! Thank you for helping me.
Fruity Bear: I would want people to be friendly to me, to come up and say "Hello". I think that's how Jesus wants us to treat other people: Friendly!
Teacher: I like that answer too! How about this: What if Justin was building a house with blocks. One day, you were not paying attention and you walked past Justin and knocked down his house by accident, and blocks went everywhere and made a big mess! How would you want Justin to treat you? (Give the children a chance to answer). Wow! Great answers!
Fruity Bear: Well, I wouldn't want Justin to yell at me or push me away. I would want Justin to understand that it was just an accident and to forgive me. And Justin would probably like it if I told him I was sorry, and helped him build his house again. That is how I could show love to Justin.
Teacher: Yes, that would show that you cared about Justin. How about this: If I have 5 cookies, and I have 5 friends over at my house playing with me. If you were one of my friends. Since there's not enough cookies for everybody to have one, what should I do? (Give the children a chance to answer). O.K., very good.
Fruity Bear: I LOVE cookies! I would not want to be left out. Maybe you could break some of the cookies in half, so then you could share part of a cookie with each person. That way, everybody would get a piece, and nobody would be left out.
Teacher: I think that would make Jesus happy if we were sharing like that. Well, I think we have a pretty good idea of what love means now.
Fruity Bear: But, what about when its really hard to love people. Sometimes I just don't feel like being loving. But, I know that is how Jesus wants me to be. So how do I love others when I just don't feel like it?
Teacher: That's why we need Jesus. He puts the love in our hearts and makes it grow, so we can love people even when its really hard. When we stay connected to Jesus we get really good at loving. We have lots of love to give and share. We want to share with others the love Jesus gives to us!
Fruity Bear: Oh, I see what you mean. You mean that love feels so good that we want others to have it too. But how do we stay close to Jesus?
Teacher: Well, once you have decided to follow Jesus and asked him to change your heart, you can stay close to Jesus by talking to him every day, as much as you can. We talk to Jesus by praying. And, you can also stay close to Jesus by reading your Bible as much as you can! The more you stay connected to Jesus, the more love you have to give to others!
Fruity Bear: Then I want to pray and read my Bible as much as I can! I want Jesus to change my heart and produce lots of fruit in me!
Teacher: Me too! I always want to make sure I am staying connected to Jesus all the time! Next week we will learn about the other fruits that God's Spirit makes grow in us. And, now we have a prayer we can say.
Teacher: Bye-bye! I 'll be back next week!
Transition: Let's bow our heads, close our eyes and fold our hands. I'll say the words first and give you time to say them after me if you'd like to.

PRAYER: Dear God,

Fruit in me.

Thank you for loving me so much!

Fruit like love and joy.
Thank you for showing me how to love others. Help me stay close to you
Thank you, that when I So I can produce
Stay connected to you, Lots of fruit!

That you produce lots of

In Jesus' name, Amen.
Transition: Now we have some fun crafts and activities that go with this lesson. Go To Activities Page for activities. Go to Crafts Page for Week 1.

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